Difference between revisions of "Pacific Grove City Initiative To Void Ordinance 02-18 Pension Increase (November 2014)"

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
 
(22 intermediate revisions by 2 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
<table style="float: right;">
+
{{Nolocal2014}}{{tnr}}{{LocalPension}}A '''Pacific Grove City Initiative To Void Ordinance 02-18''' ballot question will not be on the [[November 4, 2014 ballot measures in California|November 4, 2014 election ballot]] for voters in the city of Pacific Grove in {{monterey}}, [[California]]. A [[Ballotpedia:Calendar|June 26, 2014]] judicial hearing on a [[Pacific Grove City Initiative To Void Ordinance 02-18 Pension Increase (2013)#Judicial outcome|cross-complaint filed by the city]] ultimately scrapped the initiative.<ref name=June/>
<tr valign="top">
+
<td>
+
{{tnr}}
+
</td>
+
<td>
+
{{Pension}}
+
</td>
+
</tr>
+
</table>
+
  
A '''Pacific Beach City Initiative To Void Ordinance 02-18''' ballot question was proposed for the November 5, 2013 ballot for voters in Pacific Beach in {{monterey}}. But when the valid initiative petition was presented to the City council for adoption or referral to the voters, the council voted 6-0, with one absentee, to seek judicial relief for investigation into the legality of the initiative, thus preventing the initiative from immediately going to the ballot.<ref name=AgendaReport>[http://www.ci.pg.ca.us/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=7518 Pacific Grove City Council May 15, 2013 meeting agenda report]</ref>
+
This measure was originally proposed for the [[November 5, 2013 ballot measures in California|November 5, 2013 election ballot]], but it was [[Pacific Grove City Initiative To Void Ordinance 02-18 Pension Increase (November 2014)#Path to the ballot|put off through legal and judicial delays sought by the Pacific Grove City Council.]]
  
This initiative proposes that a pension increase to reverse an allegedly illegally enacted 3% at 50 pension benefit increase to public safety employees of Pacific Beach. Proponents of this measure say that the increase was approved based on false information and understated fiscal impact.<ref name=Initiative>[http://www.pgpensionreform.org/docs/Initiative_to_Rescind_Ab_Initio_Ordinance_2-18_FINAL.pdf INITIATIVE TO VOID ORDINANCE 02-18 WHICH ILLEGALLY ENACTED A 3% at 50 PENSION BENEFIT INCREASE TO PUBLIC SAFETY EMPLOYEES CITY OF PACIFIC BEACH]</ref> Specifically it looks the CalPERS [http://calpensions.com/2010/07/page/2/ actuarial forecast], which shows that state costs for pensions could rise to as much as $3.9 billion in 2010 under the new SB 400 pension increase. This report was was withheld from legislators in 2002, who instead were shown a 17-page CalPERS brochure saying that SB 400 would not increase state costs. The lawmakers were not shown a CalPERS actuarial forecast that accurately predicted how much costs would soar if investment earnings faltered.<ref name=Fox>[http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2013/05/pension-measure-wave-crests-court-slog-remains/&utm_source=feedly Pension Measure Wave Crests, Court Slog Remains]</ref>
+
This initiative proposed to reverse an allegedly illegal [[3% at 50 retirement plan|3% at 50 pension benefit increase]] given to public safety employees of Pacific Grove in 2002. Proponents of this measure said that the increase was approved based on false information and understated fiscal impact.<ref name=Initiative>[http://www.pgpensionreform.org/docs/Initiative_to_Rescind_Ab_Initio_Ordinance_2-18_FINAL.pdf INITIATIVE TO VOID ORDINANCE 02-18 WHICH ILLEGALLY ENACTED A 3% at 50 PENSION BENEFIT INCREASE TO PUBLIC SAFETY EMPLOYEES CITY OF PACIFIC Grove]</ref> Specifically, it refered to the CalPERS [http://calpensions.com/2010/07/page/2/ actuarial forecast], which showed that state costs for pensions could rise to as much as $3.9 billion in 2010 under the new SB 400 pension increase. This report was withheld from legislators in 2002, who instead were shown a 17-page CalPERS brochure saying that SB 400 would not increase state costs. The lawmakers were not shown the CalPERS actuarial forecast that accurately predicted how much costs would soar if investment earnings faltered.<ref name=Fox>[http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2013/05/pension-measure-wave-crests-court-slog-remains/&utm_source=feedly Pension Measure Wave Crests, Court Slog Remains]</ref>  
 
+
The initiative petition was first presented to the City Council on May 1<sup>st</sup> with 1,195 valid signatures, requiring the council to either enact the ordinance into law, present it to the public for voters to decide at the ballot or call for a report on the effects of the initiative. The council members voted 7-0 to commission a report on the initiative.<ref name=Article>[http://www.montereyherald.com/local/ci_23156903/pacific-grove-wants-report-controversial-public-pension-ballot&utm_source=feedly Pacific Grove wants report on controversial public pension ballot measure]</ref>
+
 
+
After the results of the report were presented to the Pacific Grove council members in the May 15<sup>th</sup> [http://www.ci.pg.ca.us/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=7518 meeting], there was a 6-0 vote to seek judicial relief postponing any decision on the adoption of this initiated ordinance until the courts have investigated its legality.<ref name=Fox/><ref>''Ballotpedia writer, Josh Altic, spoke with a city clerk receptionist who reported a vote of 6-0, with one absentee, to seek judicial relief.''</ref>
+
  
 
==Support==
 
==Support==
  
Supporters of this measure argue that the increase in pensions that happened over a decade ago was done illegally and in the midst of misinformation and understatement of fiscal effects. Daniel Davis, an initiative backer, said that the 2002 pension increase decision was "an issue of government corruption." He went on to say "that we just can't let it go."
+
Supporters of this measure argued that the increase in pensions that happened over a decade ago was done illegally and in the midst of misinformation and understatement of fiscal effects. Daniel Davis, an initiative backer, said that the 2002 pension increase decision was "an issue of government corruption." He went on to say "that we just can't let it go."
  
Other supporters focus on the future and argue that escalating costs under the state Public Employees Retirement System are pushing Pacific Grove towards financial disaster.<ref name=Article/>
+
Other supporters focused on the future and argued that escalating costs under the state Public Employees Retirement System were pushing Pacific Grove towards financial disaster.<ref name=Article/>
  
 
==Opposition==
 
==Opposition==
  
Those who oppose the measure join with many city officials to voice conerns that this measure would result in extremely expensive litigation ending with the initiative being over-ruled in the courts much like [[Pacific Grove Retirement Benefits for City Employees, Measure R (November 2010)|Measure R of 2010]].
+
Those who opposed the measure joined with many city officials to voice concerns that this measure would result in extremely expensive litigation, ending with the initiative being over-ruled in the courts, much like in the case of [[Pacific Grove Retirement Benefits for City Employees, Measure R (November 2010)|Measure R in 2010]].<ref name=Article/>
  
Councilman Robert Huitt, who is the only current council member present for the 2002 pension increase decision, suggests discussion of whether the proposed measure is a "legitimate exercise of legislative powers" or if it belongs in the realm of the courts. "As far as I can tell it's silent on legislative intent," he said.
+
Councilman Robert Huitt, who was the only council member present for the 2002 pension increase decision and the 2013 ballot initiative, suggested discussion about whether the proposed measure was a "legitimate exercise of legislative powers" or if it belonged in the realm of the courts. "As far as I can tell it's silent on legislative intent," he said.<ref name=Article/>
  
Councilman Ken Cuneo said that the city council needs a report and deliberation to decide if the measure "is going to be a turkey or if it will fly."<ref name=Article/>
+
Councilman Ken Cuneo said that the city council needed a report and deliberation to decide if the measure "is going to be a turkey or if it will fly."<ref name=Article/>
  
Michael G. Colantuono, Esq. and Matthew T. Summers, Esq. were charged with preparing [http://www.ci.pg.ca.us/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=7518 a report] on this measure and based on the their findings they gave the opinion that the measure would cause harm to the city service work force and that it was very likely illegal. Based on these findings, the report suggested that the city council seek judicial relief from a decision on this measure or pass it on to the voters and strongly urge them to vote against it.<ref name=AgendaReport/>
+
Michael G. Colantuono, Esq. and Matthew T. Summers, Esq. were charged with preparing [http://www.ci.pg.ca.us/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=7518 a report] on this measure and, based on their findings, they gave the opinion that the measure would cause harm to the city service work force and that it was very likely illegal. Based on these findings, the report suggested that the city council seek judicial relief from a decision on this measure or pass it on to the voters and strongly urged them to vote against it.<ref name=AgendaReport/>
 +
 
 +
==Path to the ballot==
 +
 
 +
The initiative was originally proposed for, but did not make, the [[November 5, 2013 ballot measures in California|November 5, 2013 election ballot]]. When the valid initiative petition was presented to the City council for adoption or referral to the voters, the council voted 6-0, with one absentee, to seek judicial relief for investigation into the legality of the initiative, thus preventing the initiative from immediately going to the ballot.<ref name=AgendaReport>[http://www.ci.pg.ca.us/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=7518 Pacific Grove City Council May 15, 2013 meeting agenda report]</ref>
 +
 
 +
The initiative petition was first presented to the City Council on [[Ballotpedia:Calendar|May 1, 2013,]] with 1,195 valid signatures, requiring the council to either enact the ordinance into law, present it to the public for voters to decide at the ballot or call for a report on the effects of the initiative. The council members voted 7-0 to commission a judicial report on the initiative.<ref name=Article>[http://www.montereyherald.com/local/ci_23156903/pacific-grove-wants-report-controversial-public-pension-ballot&utm_source=feedly Pacific Grove wants report on controversial public pension ballot measure]</ref>
 +
 
 +
After the results of the report were presented to the Pacific Grove council members in the May 15, 2013, [http://www.ci.pg.ca.us/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=7518 meeting], there was a 6-0 vote to seek judicial relief, postponing any decision on the adoption of this [[Ballot initiative|initiated]] ordinance until the courts had investigated its legality.<ref name=Fox/><ref>''Ballotpedia writer, Josh Altic, spoke with a city clerk receptionist who reported a vote of 6-0, with one absentee, to seek judicial relief.''</ref>
 +
 
 +
==Judicial outcome==
 +
 
 +
In January, {{JP|Superior Court of Monterey County, California|Monterey County Superior Court Judge}} {{JP|Thomas W. Wills|Thomas Wills}} ruled in an initial decision that the initiative had sufficient legal compliance to go before voters. The city filed a cross-complaint, scheduled for [[Ballotpedia:Calendar|June 26, 2014]], and was also considering an appeal of the ruling by Wills. The Pacific Grove City Council met on [[Ballotpedia:Calendar|March 12, 2014,]] to decide whether to abandon its legal efforts against the measure, putting it on the ballot and dealing with expected litigation if it had been approved by voters, or to continue working to keep the initiative off the ballot.<ref>[http://www.montereyherald.com/localnews/ci_25320601/pacific-grove-public-pension-ballot-measure-subject-another ''The Herald'', "Pacific Grove public pension ballot measure subject of another council meeting," March 11, 2014]</ref> The council voted five against two to continue with the cross-complaint and await a second judicial ruling after the scheduled June hearing.<ref name=June>[http://www.montereyherald.com/localnews/ci_25333198/public-pension-controversy-pacific-grove-decides-wait-another ''The Herald'', "Public pension controversy: Pacific Grove decides to wait for another ruling," March 12, 2014]</ref>
 +
 
 +
In his final decision after the city's cross-complaint on June 26, 2014, Judge Wills overruled his own decision, saying that the 2002 pension increase was legally enacted, invalidating the proposed pension initiative to roll back the 2002 council vote.<ref name=wills>[http://www.montereyherald.com/localnews/ci_25320601/pacific-grove-public-pension-ballot-measure-subject-another ''The Herald'', "Pacific Grove public pension ballot measure subject of another council meeting," March 11, 2014]</ref><ref name=june>[http://www.montereycountyweekly.com/blogs/news_blog/judge-rejects-pacific-grove-ballot-initiative-to-roll-back-public/article_35aca7d8-fd6f-11e3-8cd3-001a4bcf6878.html ''Monterey County Weekly'', "Judge rejects Pacific Grove ballot initiative to roll back public-safety pensions," June 26, 2014]</ref>
 +
 
 +
In response to the decision, Pacific Grove City Manager Tim Frutchey said, “This ruling benefits the City by avoiding a costly election, and litigation."<ref name=june/>
 +
 
 +
Mayor Bill Kampe, who recently announced his candidacy for reelection, said, "I'm hoping we can put the past of 12 years ago behind us. I thank the citizens for putting the focus on pension reform, but now's the time to look forward, and look at the additional changes we need at the state level to give us the flexibility we need to manage pension costs."<ref name=june/>
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
Line 48: Line 53:
 
* [http://www.ci.pg.ca.us/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=7518 Pacific Grove City Council meeting minutes for Pension reform initiative]
 
* [http://www.ci.pg.ca.us/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=7518 Pacific Grove City Council meeting minutes for Pension reform initiative]
 
* [http://calpensions.com/2010/07/page/2/ SB400 pension boost: uncanny forecast unheeded]
 
* [http://calpensions.com/2010/07/page/2/ SB400 pension boost: uncanny forecast unheeded]
 +
 +
==Additional reading==
 +
* [http://www.montereyherald.com/news/ci_26042160/pacific-grove-ballot-initiative-roll-back-public-pensions?source=rss ''Monterey Herald'', "Pacific Grove ballot initiative to roll back public pensions rejected," June 26, 2014]
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
Line 56: Line 64:
 
[[Category:California 2013 local ballot measures]]
 
[[Category:California 2013 local ballot measures]]
 
[[Category:Local pensions, California, 2013]]
 
[[Category:Local pensions, California, 2013]]
 +
[[Category:Local pensions, 2013]]
 +
[[Category:Local pensions, 2014]]
 +
[[Category:Local ballots, 2014]]
 +
[[Category:California 2014 local ballot measures]]

Latest revision as of 15:20, 31 July 2014

Not on Ballot
Proposed allot measures that were not on a ballot
This measure did not or
will not appear on a ballot
Voting on Local
Pensions

Pension Hotspots Report
Local Ballot Measures
By state
By year
Hotspots Reports
Current edition
Original Case study
San Jose & San Diego
State-wide Measures
A Pacific Grove City Initiative To Void Ordinance 02-18 ballot question will not be on the November 4, 2014 election ballot for voters in the city of Pacific Grove in Monterey County, California. A June 26, 2014 judicial hearing on a cross-complaint filed by the city ultimately scrapped the initiative.[1]

This measure was originally proposed for the November 5, 2013 election ballot, but it was put off through legal and judicial delays sought by the Pacific Grove City Council.

This initiative proposed to reverse an allegedly illegal 3% at 50 pension benefit increase given to public safety employees of Pacific Grove in 2002. Proponents of this measure said that the increase was approved based on false information and understated fiscal impact.[2] Specifically, it refered to the CalPERS actuarial forecast, which showed that state costs for pensions could rise to as much as $3.9 billion in 2010 under the new SB 400 pension increase. This report was withheld from legislators in 2002, who instead were shown a 17-page CalPERS brochure saying that SB 400 would not increase state costs. The lawmakers were not shown the CalPERS actuarial forecast that accurately predicted how much costs would soar if investment earnings faltered.[3]

Support

Supporters of this measure argued that the increase in pensions that happened over a decade ago was done illegally and in the midst of misinformation and understatement of fiscal effects. Daniel Davis, an initiative backer, said that the 2002 pension increase decision was "an issue of government corruption." He went on to say "that we just can't let it go."

Other supporters focused on the future and argued that escalating costs under the state Public Employees Retirement System were pushing Pacific Grove towards financial disaster.[4]

Opposition

Those who opposed the measure joined with many city officials to voice concerns that this measure would result in extremely expensive litigation, ending with the initiative being over-ruled in the courts, much like in the case of Measure R in 2010.[4]

Councilman Robert Huitt, who was the only council member present for the 2002 pension increase decision and the 2013 ballot initiative, suggested discussion about whether the proposed measure was a "legitimate exercise of legislative powers" or if it belonged in the realm of the courts. "As far as I can tell it's silent on legislative intent," he said.[4]

Councilman Ken Cuneo said that the city council needed a report and deliberation to decide if the measure "is going to be a turkey or if it will fly."[4]

Michael G. Colantuono, Esq. and Matthew T. Summers, Esq. were charged with preparing a report on this measure and, based on their findings, they gave the opinion that the measure would cause harm to the city service work force and that it was very likely illegal. Based on these findings, the report suggested that the city council seek judicial relief from a decision on this measure or pass it on to the voters and strongly urged them to vote against it.[5]

Path to the ballot

The initiative was originally proposed for, but did not make, the November 5, 2013 election ballot. When the valid initiative petition was presented to the City council for adoption or referral to the voters, the council voted 6-0, with one absentee, to seek judicial relief for investigation into the legality of the initiative, thus preventing the initiative from immediately going to the ballot.[5]

The initiative petition was first presented to the City Council on May 1, 2013, with 1,195 valid signatures, requiring the council to either enact the ordinance into law, present it to the public for voters to decide at the ballot or call for a report on the effects of the initiative. The council members voted 7-0 to commission a judicial report on the initiative.[4]

After the results of the report were presented to the Pacific Grove council members in the May 15, 2013, meeting, there was a 6-0 vote to seek judicial relief, postponing any decision on the adoption of this initiated ordinance until the courts had investigated its legality.[3][6]

Judicial outcome

In January, Monterey County Superior Court Judge Thomas Wills ruled in an initial decision that the initiative had sufficient legal compliance to go before voters. The city filed a cross-complaint, scheduled for June 26, 2014, and was also considering an appeal of the ruling by Wills. The Pacific Grove City Council met on March 12, 2014, to decide whether to abandon its legal efforts against the measure, putting it on the ballot and dealing with expected litigation if it had been approved by voters, or to continue working to keep the initiative off the ballot.[7] The council voted five against two to continue with the cross-complaint and await a second judicial ruling after the scheduled June hearing.[1]

In his final decision after the city's cross-complaint on June 26, 2014, Judge Wills overruled his own decision, saying that the 2002 pension increase was legally enacted, invalidating the proposed pension initiative to roll back the 2002 council vote.[8][9]

In response to the decision, Pacific Grove City Manager Tim Frutchey said, “This ruling benefits the City by avoiding a costly election, and litigation."[9]

Mayor Bill Kampe, who recently announced his candidacy for reelection, said, "I'm hoping we can put the past of 12 years ago behind us. I thank the citizens for putting the focus on pension reform, but now's the time to look forward, and look at the additional changes we need at the state level to give us the flexibility we need to manage pension costs."[9]

See also

External links

BallotpediaAvatar bigger.png
Suggest a link

Additional reading

References